Bill Nelson compiles a desert island discography.
It started with "the question" and ended with "the list". If you were about to go on tour and had to choose just eight tracks to put on your Walkman, what would they be, and why?
1 The Agnus Dei from Faure's Requiem. I think this is possibly my most favourite ever piece of music. I'm definitely going to have it put in my will that when I die it has to be played at my funeral. It's a very relaxing and very religious piece of music, a spiritual piece of music.
2 Betty Wright Clean-up Woman (single). If this was going to be a Walkman tape for a desert island, this would be a great dance track. There wouldn't be anyone around to inhibit me from dancing. It's great for leaping about to.
3 Yellow Magic Orchestra Cue (from "BGM" LP). This is one of my favourite Yellow Magic Orchestra tracks, and it's one I played on the tour recently with Yukihiro in Japan. It reminds me of that.
4 Harold Budd Bismillahi Rrahmani (from "Pavilion Of Dreams" LP). This is Wurlitzer, Fender Rhodes piano and marimbas with Marion Brown playing alto sax over the top, very open and drifting. It has a similar kind of effect to the Agnus Dei in that it seems to transcend all kinds of worries and cares. It's just a very relaxing track.
5 Drahcir Ztiworoh Eros Never Stops Dreaming (from "Eros In Arabia" LP). This is very similar to the Steve Reich, Philip Glass kind of things in that it's built on repetitions, but it uses ethnic instruments as well as synthesisers. It has some Arabian drums in there, and an Arabian flute. It's a very ambiguous piece of music — it seems to be timeless, it has a quality that locates it far beyond fashion or pop music. It never sounds dated.
6 Smokey Robinson And The Miracles The Tracks Of My Tears (single). It reminds me very much of my days going to Motown Mondays at the local Mecca dance-hall: it was always one of the more romantic tracks where you'd actually found yourself a lady for the night and you could whisper all kinds of seductive lines. It reminds me of my youth...
7 Keith Jarrett Spheres First Movement (from "Hymns And Spheres" LP). The whole album's very good but I think this is my favourite track. Again, it's a spiritual kind of music, it's almost a devotional piece. It's recorded on a baroque organ somewhere in Germany — it's one of those things that seems to have a life beyond just normal notes and techniques, it has something very special about it.
8 Eric Satie Parade. There's so many Satie pieces I like. This is quite a long one and has a lot of elements of his style in it. It's the ballet for which Cocteau wrote the screenplay and Picasso designed the costumes and the stage sets. It included sections not just with music but with the sound of typewriters, gunshots and so on. It caused quite a stir at the time — now it seems like a piece of 20th century classical music, really.
Then Solo LP "Northern Dream 1971; Be-Bop Deluxe 1974-1978; Red Noise 1979; Solo LPs since then include "The Love That Whirls" 1982 and "Chimera" 1983. Production includes work with The Skids, Original Mirrors, Moving Targets, The News, Fiat Lux, The Units, Nash The Slash, Last Man In Europe, Flock Of Seagulls. Runs own Cocteau label.
And Yamaha CS70M, Casio VL1, Casio MT30, Arp Omni, Minimoog, Yamaha SG2000, Yamaha SG2000S, E-Bow, Fender Stratocaster, Veillette-Citron custom six-string, Guild D500, Dan Armstrong "see-through", Roland TR808, Roland DR55, Marimbas, Fender Champ, Roland JC combo, Burman combo, Fostex A8, Fostex 350, Fostex Complimiter, Revox B77, Eventide H910 Harmonizer, Marshall Time Modulator, Tannoy Little Red Monitors.
Now Recording/mixing single with Yukihiro Takahashi for release possibly by end of 1983 — working title "Bounds Of Reason, Bonds Of Love". Mixing the Units second album at Ric Rac in Leeds (recorded at Rockfield). Starting writing for next solo album.